Aloiai announced as Ken Stephen Medal finalist

Aloiai announced as Ken Stephen Medal finalistAloiai announced as Ken Stephen Medal finalist
Wests Tigers
Mon 23 Sep 2019, 04:12 PM

Sia Soliola (Raiders), Corey Norman (Dragons), Agnatius Paasi (Warriors) and Josh Aloiai (Wests Tigers) have been announced as the four finalists vying for this year’s Ken Stephen Medal.

Sia, Agnatius and Josh were confirmed as finalists by a panel of judges from across the game, whilst Corey was selected via an fan poll.

NRL Head of Government and Community Relations, Jaymes Boland-Rudder congratulated the finalists on an outstanding year off the field, contributing to various community programs.

“Our four finalists — and all of our nominees — have chosen different community activities to engage in and support throughout the year and they should all feel very proud of their efforts to increase positive community interaction and engagement,” Mr Boland-Rudder said.

“Our players join thousands of coaches, administrators, referees and volunteers each year in supporting a multitude of community and wellbeing programs, utilising rugby league’s voice for good.

“A sense of community and inclusiveness is at the core of our game and I’m delighted to see some of the NRL’s biggest names nominated as finalists for this year’s Ken Stephen Medal.”

The 2019 Ken Stephen Medal will be awarded and celebrated on Grand Final day, ahead of the NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final.

This year marks the 31st occasion for the Ken Stephen Medal – an award recognising the efforts of an NRL player who has not only achieved on the field, but has committed time off the field to community projects.

For a full list of nominees and an overview of finalists and their community work, click here.

The 2019 Ken Stephen Medal is proudly supported by wealth, property and wellbeing consultancy, One Solutions.

Did Corey get nominated for sharing his stash with pensioners who otherwise could not afford white lines?

Am so proud of Josh A. Could be the biggest win we’ve had in years…

In 2020 I would play Josh in the second row…he would be quite damaging there…could take Mattos position

@tigerap I think he will play lock, Madge wants to get him fit for that position.

‘Heart warrior’: Aloiai’s bond with brave young Tigers fan
Troy Whittaker

Doctors at Westmead Hospital were prepared for the worst when Wests Tigers prop Josh Aloiai visited a brave boy awaiting emergency heart surgery in August. There were fears that 12-year-old Lachlan Fleming, born with the very rare congenital heart disease Truncus Arteriosis, wouldn’t survive the third major open heart operation of his young life. He could have gone into cardiac arrest at any moment.

A huge Tigers fan, his story was shared with Aloiai - and so the Ken Stephen Medal finalist headed in to see Lachlan in his own time despite nursing a season-ending hand injury. The pair quickly formed a beautiful bond, with Aloiai staying for more than two hours talking and performing magic tricks.

“They were saying there was a fair bit of risk, whether he’d make it or not,” Aloiai told
"Once I got in the car after seeing Lachlan, I was pretty emotional. I was really thankful that the parents let me come and see Lachlan. “He’s a lovely boy, good manners.”

Fortunately, the operation was successful and, after spending a month at Westmead and then a week at Ronald McDonald House, Lachlan returned home to Newcastle to recover.He still faces another open heart surgery to replace his truncal and aortic valves. If all goes to plan, he hopes to play sport again.

Aloiai keeps in regular touch with Lachlan by phone and that simple act means the world to his parents. They wrote to Aloiai: "You gave him hope and joy when you came to visit and took away just for a short while the stress that our family was facing. “We never expected we would hear from you again … You are a very special human being.”

Aloiai was humbled when the recuperating Lachlan was most concerned for the Tigers forward’s welfare after he had a rib graft to repair his hand. “I was telling him it was a bit embarrassing - please stop asking me!” Aloiai laughed.

@Newtown said in Aloiai announced as Ken Stephen Medal finalist:

‘Heart warrior’: Aloiai’s bond with brave young Tigers fan

It would be good if Josh could get his mate Ryan to come along and see what it’s really like to do it tough. It’s amazing how these kids find the strength and don’t ‘mope around’.

I think footballers sometimes forget just how good they have it.

Kudos to Josh, a generous and thoughtful effort for no personal gain.

@voice_of_reason At one time I was blinded enough to nominate Matterson as a future captain. Unfortunately his actions of the past few weeks have left a lot to be desired. A captain has to be reponsible to his co-players and to the club which is paying his contract. Matterson has shown none of these traits and unfortunately just seems to be only absorb in himself.

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